Hold The Front Page
...in front of you and this will become clearer
As the sun smiles quietly to itself over a deserted early-morning Denmark Street in London's West End, a dozen or so sleepy figures make their way from points various toward a day of blowing, boozing and being photographed.
You may have noticed from the front cover one result of the day's activities — a snap for the family album of our four handsome musical instrument reviewers having their sound output magnetically manoeuvred on to tape by skilled Studio Sound person Mel Lambert (he's the one with the beard). From left to right there's Dave Crombie foreseeing a Cmaj7sus4 on the Sequential Circuits Prophet 5, Dave Blake looking pensive at the existence of the Fender Starcaster in his hands, Peter Randall exploding with happiness at Tama Superstar crisscross rhythms, and Colin Hodgkinson wowing all present with liquid lines of bass from his unusual Fender fretless.
By a stunning stroke of synchronicity, you will have noticed (if you're really on the ball) that they're all playing the instruments reviewed in this issue of SI, all apart from Peter Randall that is — we wanted to mike up a conventional kit for the session, so decided against including the Syndrums in the day's playing. Instead we got Peter to wax percussive on the Tama kit reviewed in last month's (June) SI.
Amplification and miking of the instruments was achieved as follows (all mikes by AKG) — Keyboards: Amplified through a Yamaha PS400, miked with D202 on bottom driver, D170 on horn. Guitar: Amplified through Vox AC30, miked with D140. Drums: miked with D12 on bass drum, overhead pair of D202s, D170s on top kit (pair). Bass: Amplified through Peavey Session stack, miked with D202 and via Susan Blue di box.
The mikes and the di box were connected to the Itam 10/4 desk as follows: 1 overhead kit left, 2 overhead kit right, 3 top kit left, 4 top kit right, 5 bass drum, 6 keyboard bottom, 7 keyboard top, 8 guitar, 9 bass mike, 10 di bass. The drums were routed and panned left and right between group outputs 1 and 2, while the keyboards appeared on output 3 and guitar on output 4. Because some control of the rich bass sound was required during mixdown, the di bass and bass mic were taken from the channel direct outputs to the 805 tape machine without routing to a group output.
Thanks are due to: Dave Blake, Dave Crombie, Colin Hodgkinson, Mel Lambert and Peter Randall for their time, energy and skills; to AKG for the loan of mikes and cable; to Itam for the loan of their two machines; to Martyn Maynard for the loan of two Susan Blue di boxes; to Bob Styles at Argent's Keyboard Store for the use of his back room and some amplification; to Roger Phillips for taking some superb pics; to Scottish and Newcastle Breweries for allowing us to buy some of their beer; and to all the people at the record company (oh, sorry, thought I was writing a record sleeve).
Sound Reports & Views
Feature by Tony Bacon
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